How this copywriter lived in a cave for 17 months

“Did you hear, they want to cut off unemployment benefits for people now.  Can you imagine, in this economy?”

I try to avoid conversations at my local coffee shop.  Unlike the cyber squatters who hang out there all day with their laptops, surfing the net and “writing” their daily blog post about what their dog had for breakfast, I actually go there to write.  I write direct-response copy for small (and large) businesses, crafting online and print sales messages that help them grow.

I couldn’t fend off my new coffeeshop friend.  “Yeah”, he says, “the Republicans want to cut off unemployment benefits.  What are people supposed to do?  There aren’t any jobs out there.”

Outside of my cave

Outside of my cave

“So, how long did these folks get unemployment benefits?”  I honestly had no idea about this subject (and I didn’t tell him I’m a Libertarian.)

“Some of them for two years, but a lot of my friends have only been on unemployment for a year.”

Two years?!  Two years of sitting at home, watching Oprah and Dr. Phil reruns, updating your Facebook status, and looking at the non-existent want ads in the paper?  Really?

I was flabbergasted.  This was foreign territory for me.

The business of copywriting

Apparently there’s been a recession, but for the last 17 months I haven’t read the paper or listened to the news.  I’ve been too busy building my copywriting business.

And business is good.  Real good.

More important, it’s growing for my clients, people just like you.

Now, your business may be  down because of the economy, I understand that.  And you may have to cut back or tighten up on some expenses.

Maybe even…

Cut back on your marketing.

What?!  A copywriting/marketing guy telling me to cut back on my marketing?

Let me qualify that statement.  If you’re spending marketing dollars on branding, “image” or “awareness” ads, you may want to cut back (or stop all together.)

If you’re putting a weekly ad in your local newspaper out of habit, and not even sure if you’re getting a return on your investment – stop.

(If you are getting a measurable return on your marketing dollars, by all means, keep it going!)

The one area you absolutely, positively need to be investing in during a down economy is this:

Direct response advertising

Direct response advertising is what Web Content Copywriting is all about, and I do it well.

Everything I write for you – website copy, email sales letters, postcards, direct mail letters, space ads – should get your prospects to act.

It’s basically salesmanship in print (online and off.)

Problem is, most folks don’t like salespeople.  They hate to be sold (but they do like to buy.)

So, you need a special kind of person to skillfully craft your message, pull your prospect in, and have a strong call to action that ultimately gets your prospect to buy.  That’s the job of a …


A good copywriter will write your sales messages the way people talk.  Sincerely, clearly, and in plain English.  Not marketing gobbledygook or “corporate-speak”.  And with the purpose of generating action.

I write clear, concise, conversational copy – that sells.

Here’s the kicker: Yes, it’s advertising that gets people to respond and act.  But in most cases, direct response actually costs less than those image, branding or awareness ads that are difficult to measure.

How so?

Well, you don’t have to hire a big Madison Avenue-type ad agency.  You’re not paying for any big, late-night “creative sessions”.  No ongoing “branding” campaign that will set you back five figures a month, without being able to measure the results.  No “awareness” repeat radio or TV spots (or newspaper ads) without a call to action, just to keep your name “out there”.

Nope.  Direct response copywriting, direct response advertising is concerned with only one thing – getting your prospects and customers to break out their wallets, whip out their credit cards, and buy your product or service.

If I don’t get results for my clients, I starve (and they go away.)

The reason I’ve done well is because the ads I’ve written for my clients have produced well.  That’s all.

Direct response advertising is where it’s at

The beauty of direct response advertising is you can measure it.  So you know exactly what your return on investment is.

Give direct response a try, and watch your business grow.  Yes, even in this economy.  And when that happens, I’ll invite you back to my cave and we’ll toast our success.

Steve Roller

Author Steve Roller

I'm a business coach, author, copywriter, world traveler (33 countries on five continents so far), and professional speaker. In addition to helping companies get more customers and make more money, I help other writers create profitable businesses. I offer one-on-one coaching, professional copy critiques, and live, in-person business-building workshops. When I'm not writing, coaching, or speaking, I enjoy nothing more than hanging out with my wife and four kids and planning my next adventure.

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